Friday, July 30, 2010

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week!

This week is Natural Family Planning awareness week! This year's theme is "Trust: God has a Plan for Your Marriage".... and I must say that I love the theme! Natural Family Planning week always happens the week surrounding Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary. What saints are more fitting to celebrate, but those who gave us Mary... who then had the ultimate trust in God for his plan for her marriage to Joseph.

Trust, while I hope that all couples preparing for marriage have trust in each other, I know that sometimes that is not the case. Unfortunately, many more do not allow room for trusting God in their marriage! I know couples out there who have conceived while "actively contracepting" and other couples who have struggled to conceive with such longing to be blessed with a child. (I am by no means making light of anyone who struggles with fertility challenges, that is a terrible burden to bear and I would feel it to be one of the worst.) These situations out there are evidence to me that children are truly a gift from God. Although, I sometimes feel as though people are more comfortable with the secular saying "Everything happens for the reason."

Our relatively brief experience of NFP thus far really does allow for trust in God's plan for us. We are truly his instruments through our actions in our time here. We must:
  • Trust, that He will give us judgement on knowing his will in our life. Not only in procreation, but in all aspects of our life.
  • Trust, that He will bless us with a child when the time is right. It is after all amazing that any of us are here, since there is such a narrow time frame in a woman's cycle in which it is possible to conceive (approximately 24 hours every +/-28 days)
Matt and I are very open in discussing this aspect of our marriage, especially with couples around our age. This is another way we have experienced trust in our marriage... we must trust that we can find the right words to explain NFP and also trust that others will be at least be accepting of our choice and why we feel so passionate about sharing our story.

Friday, July 23, 2010

100th post!

Wow, I can't believe this is my 100th post! Good times... and yet, I have nothing big to report here, no great topic or recap of my 100 posts. In fact the most exciting post I think I've made was my 99th, the video of Jack walking (check it out here)!

What else is new here? Well, today we started our first day of attempting to use cloth diapers. Even more impressive? Matt was the first one to put the diaper on Jack (he was off work today) and he's being supportive of me wanting to try cloth diapers a bit. I am really intrigued by the ability to save a LOT of money, maybe not over 1 child (especially since Jack is over a year old) but we hope to have more children in the future. After spending nearly $40+ a month on diapers for one child, the fact that we may not have to buy diapers ever again is REALLY exciting for me.

So yes, the idea of cloth diapering when I was pregnant was NEVER an option. I didn't even care to do any research about it, everyone uses disposables. Plus, the only thing I imagined using cloth diapers were the ones we registered for to use as burp cloths (single layer cloth diapers). As Matt said "How could anyone expect this to keep ANYTHING in?" After seeing a few FB friends who used them on their kids (saw them in pictures) I was kind of surprised. I started reading up on the subject to see what was going on, sure didn't look like cloth diapers the way I pictured it!

I did a decent amount of research and found a website that will let you make your own sample package! There are this diapers called "pocket diapers," which are pretty close to an all-in-one (cloth version of the disposable style, aka has a waterproof outer layer), but the pocket diapers dry a lot faster (from what I've read). We placed the order and got our diapers this week... only ordered a few different brands, just to try here & there, as well as the waterproof bag & sample of detergent. I washed and dried the diapers last night, and told Matt he could try one today if he was up to it but no pressure!

So far, this is what I've observed/researched (downsides in red, upsides in green, and yellow is for the items where our jury is still out):
  • They are "not your mother's cloth diapers"... very cute options and more importantly very EASY options!
  • Definitely bulkier than disposables, but all of Jack's shorts (ok, a khaki pair & PJ shorts since its only been one day) seem to fit fine over the diapers without too drastic of a difference in appearance but he definitely looks like he has a bubble butt. I'm definitely going to look into "thinner" cloth diaper brands, or the ones that seem to get good reviews for being thin. Thank goodness it is summer though, because he looks really cute in a cloth diaper & t-shirt! I suppose if we ever had a girl and she's wearing dresses a lot we won't have to worry about it!
  • Diaper changes are just as quick, instead of taking the diaper to the Diaper Genie, we take it and put it in the bag. We are still using disposable wipes... it is kind of hard for me to give those up because they do a great job!
  • You need to use special detergent to wash the diapers, and of course I thought this is going to be more expensive especially since we have a HE washer. Surprisingly, the prices I've seen on some popular "cloth diaper safe" are the same cost per load or even cheaper! (Yea! for saving more money!)
  • The one size diapers (they can be adjusted to fit babies from 8 or 10 lbs. up to 30 or 35 lbs.) will be great for all of our future children at one point, but from most online articles on the subject suggest getting newborn diapers because of how tiny newborns are. This would add to some extra cost for diapers, but again if we have more than one child use them, it would be more cost effective.
  • We still haven't changed a poopy cloth diaper... this will be the real test. We got some liners (very thin layer that you place in between the diaper & baby's bottom) that will hopefully avoid the whole rinsing issue. Another option out there is a diaper sprayer (so you don't dunk in the toilet), you just spray it off before putting in the bag. Again, the poopy cloth diaper will be the number one challenge for us... especially for Matt. Jack has pooped through enough disposable diapers on the both of us, but especially Matt, that if dealing with a cloth diaper after poop is too much, we may abandon cloth diapering. I'm really not sure its going to be that much worse than wiping bottoms with the risk of getting it on your hands, or a diaper explosion all over baby & his clothes.

On Wednesday, I went out with the girls to see O.A.R. my favorite band! I've seen them a number of times and only missed last year's concert because it was the Thursday before my due date (Jack's birthday). It was a little step back in time, we pushed our way to be 2 or 3 people behind the gates in front of the stage. I got some decent pictures too, but more pictures that were "ehhh" to "crappy" quality.

Work has still been busy, but I did get out at 3:30 today... we had a company wide early release at 3 so I was able to get out shortly after! Quite a drastic change from the few days a week I was staying til at least 8... one time past 11 pm. There have been others working longer hours and more on the weekends then I have had too, so they deserve a ton of kudos! The group doing this work did get some recognition today at a department wide meeting for all of the long hours and hard work we've done, so it is nice to get recognized when you do work really hard on something.

Tomorrow is a friend's bridal shower! I'm in her wedding in September. We're going to lunch at a restaurant then to her grandma's house for festivities! I love wedding season and feel so honored to be in her wedding!

Monday, July 19, 2010

See Jack go! Go Jack, go!

Thanks to my Mom for the title... and for being the videographer of the following video!

video

As you can see, Jack is WALKING! He really started getting pretty good with it yesterday... finally! Many weeks of a few steps here or there and trying to motivate him and help him with balance. He's walking and standing up by himself (that is, getting to the standing position without pulling up on anything)... and well, he thinks he's kind of a big deal! Matt and I didn't take video yesterday because we were too busy enjoying our son, but my mom got video today so she could show my dad when she went home.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Necklace Giveaway at 5 Vinez Monkeys

I shared the award with Angie over at 5 Vinez Monkeys yesterday. She's currently having a giveaway on her blog to celebrate her birthday! She's giving away a Lia Sophia necklace (you can see a picture on the site using the link below) and I'd love to win. I don't really have or wear many "fun" accessories.

The pieces of jewelry I wear are very nice (thanks to my husband who has great taste), but it would be nice sometimes to change it up a bit [without spending a ton]!

You can check out the details here if you'd like to enter yourself or just to check out Angie's website!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blog Award!

Yea! I've received my 2nd blog award! Thanks Michelle at Musings of a Catholic Lady for awarding me with such a fun award!

I've really enjoyed reading about Michelle's NFP experience (here, here and here are some of my favorites because she's very good at evangelizing) and reading about the things she does with her children to emphasize her Catholic faith! Check her out! Thanks again Michelle!!

The rules for the award are:

  1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you. (above)
  2. List 7 things that people may not know about you.
  3. Pass the love along to 15 deserving bloggers. (I'm going to have to only do 6, those who I regularly read!)
  4. And let them know that you gave them an award!

Seven things you may not know about me (this is tough because a number of my readers are family, but I'll try to go with some unique ones):

  1. My favorite kind of dog is a Great Dane... I think I want one, but not until all of my kids are out of diapers and we have a bigger house & yard!
  2. I've moved 8 times (up until starting college), and no my parents are not in the military.
  3. I would love to visit Ireland some day, because even though I'm only technically 50% Irish... my heart is green!
  4. I played field hockey my freshman year of high school (in Cincinnati).
  5. I also used to go caving... and would love to go again soon!! (I'll have to try and dig up pictures some day and post them, it's pretty cool!)
  6. I never carry cash... too much effort to go to an ATM on any sort of a regular basis (and our paychecks are direct deposited)! I probably should, since I hear it helps with budgeting!
  7. Matt and I love to cook together, although this hasn't happened much since Jack was born. Someone's gotta watch/entertain him while the other cooks!

Here are the next winners:

Throne of Thornes

Namibia Bound

That Married Couple

The Little Way

Growing Up Techie

5 Vinez Monkeys



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back On-line!

We've been extremely busy since Jack's 1st birthday! The Thursday after Jack's party we left for Texas for the 3rd wedding in under a year! Here are a few pictures from the wedding for Mr. and Mrs. Tim Kans:

Happy boy clapping to the music!

Congrats Mrs. Kathleen Kans! You were such a beautiful bride!
We also attempted to make the trip into a family vacation. We haven't really been on a vacation since Jack was born... I would say we haven't been on a vacation since our honeymoon! Not that we haven't kept busy with traveling, but its always been for an event or to visit people. I'm not complaining... just need a little down time sometimes and those trips are usually so busy! Here are some more pictures from our trip:
Family shot in the Texas capitol building!
Jack enjoying the business of the airport, watching luggage carts being driven around!

All I can say regarding the trip back is, the last two times we've flown on Delta our experience has been pretty terrible. The least recent time, we were stuck in Minneapolis with a 4 month old for 12 hours but got vouchers that we used for this past trip. This past trip we originally booked a flight that was due back in Columbus around 10:30 pm (late, but do-able), got an email saying our itinerary changed and that we would be arriving in Columbus at 11:30 pm (strike 1), and then our flight was delayed multiple times (they continually changed our gates), and we got home around 1:30 am... oh, so tired!
Other than that, things have continued to be extremely busy at work. This week, my parents are vacationing in Mexico so my good friend is watching Jack 3 days this week (I was off yesterday and Matt is off Friday)... we are so thankful for her help! Thanks Brooke!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to all of you! I'm so thankful for all of those serving in our armed forces and sacrificing for our freedom!

Thank you especially to my cousin Dave and his wife Alexis! This is a very special weekend for them too as they've just recently announced they are expecting their first baby! Congrats, thanks for all of your service and prayers for a happy & healthy pregnancy!

I read this from a friend on Facebook and I thought "how true"... while we are celebrating our Independence day please remember:
We are blessed to be born to be free, but there is not freedom to be born.

No laptop!!

So our laptop is dead... or at least broken to the point its not worth diagnosing or fixing!

R.I.P. laptop, you've served us well... Matt has had you since before 2005 and we've loaded you up with baby pictures and video!

I'm writing this from my work laptop (shhhh), but we'll be purchasing a new laptop soon! I will have a few blog posts ready to go once we have it up and running!